Monday, February 2, 2015

Prayer: Our Spiritual Breath

Chuckle: A lady stopped for speeding was asked to show her driver’s license.  She replied, “Yesterday you took my license, now you expect me to show it to you!”
Quote: "For the Christian, praying should be like breathing. Just as breathing is the response of physical life to the presence of air, so prayer should be the response of spiritual life to the presence of God."Unknown source 
    "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 NIV).
In the same way that we continually breathe physically, God would have us to continually breathe spiritually through prayer.  Prayer is not just a spiritual exercise, or keeping up appearances before others, or a shot in the dark -- hoping God may hear.  No, prayer is conversing with your Heavenly Father in the same way you might talk with your earthly father.  Your prayers are meant for His ears only and reveal the very essence of your being -- the deepest recesses of your heart.
Our joyfulness, prayerfulness, and thankfulness should be continuous and should not ebb and flow with changing circumstances in our lives.  You breathe physically through every situation, good or bad, and do not stop breathing when you have a physical crisis.  No, your oxygen flow becomes even more critical during difficult times.  Likewise, we need spiritual breath at all times.  Obeying the instructions in our passage -- be joyful, keep on praying, and be thankful -- often goes against our natural inclinations.  However, when we make a conscious decision to do what God says in reference to prayer, we will find it much easier to be joyful and thankful.
Obviously, we cannot spend all our time on our knees in prayer, but it is possible for us to have a prayerful attitude at all times.  It happens when your walk with your Lord becomes so close and intimate that you sense his presence with you every second of every day.  His Holy Spirit's presence becomes an extension of you own -- like you becoming one with him.  Once we reach this kind of relationship with God, it makes good sense that we converse with him continually.
Prayer can become as normal as breathing when we acknowledge our dependence on God, realizing his presence within us, and determine to obey him fully.  Praying will then become natural, frequent, short, and spontaneous.  One way to describe this concept is "breath prayers."  As you think about your Lord during your daily activities, and as you breathe, you can use your inhalations as reminders to hear God speak to you and your exhalations as reminders to speak to God concerning the desires of your heart.  For example: As you exhale, praise God for his boundless love; and as you inhale, hear him say, "I love you and am with you always."  In other words your physical breathing can remind you to breathe spiritually.
One final thought: A continuous prayerful attitude should not replace regular times of prayer and meditation on God's Word, but be an outgrowth of regular times with God.

Love, Jerry & Dotse


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